The following study by Elizabeth Webster (PhD student), Allyson Hadwin, and Stephanie Helm (MA student) has been submitted for publication:
“Learning to Set Task-Specific Goals for Self-Regulated Learning in Undergraduate Courses”
This study investigated the properties of university students’ academic goals for authentic studying tasks over the course of one semester. Participants were undergraduate students enrolled in ED-D 101 (Strategies for University Success) at the University of Victoria. Properties of high quality studying goals and changes in goal quality, goal efficacy, and perceived goal attainment over time were examined. Results indicated four properties were consistently present in high quality goals: (a) timeframe, (b) actions, (c) standard, and (d) content/concepts. Repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed statistically significant increases in goal quality, goal efficacy, and perceived goal attainment over the semester. These findings indicate that (a) students can learn how to set better goals for their studying and (b) as goal quality improves, students feel more confident about achieving their goals and perceive higher levels of goal attainment. The information obtained about the characteristics of high-quality, self-set goals can be used to inform instruction in goal setting for short, one- to two- hour studying episodes.